Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

The Diversity Dilemma

June 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 156

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions" and my greatest fear at the moment is that I'm laying the paving stones myself. You see I'm currently restructuring my team at work.

This isn't a small tweak, it's a major overhaul. It's "disruptive" change, not continuous improvement. But despite this, the intellectual challenge of trying to re-think what the team's competitive advantages and assets are and how these could be better deployed, even with less people and less money was actually a lot of fun. Yes, it was stressful, daunting and hard work, but for me it always had the undercurrent of something new, exciting and rewarding.

But now I'm implementing, and it's a little less fun.

I just appointed my executive team. Here again I'm looking at the challenge of translating the vision into reality through a somewhat intellectual prism.

Every leadership or management book you care to pick- up these days talks about the empirical and anecdotal evidence that exists to show that diversity in management leads to better results. Recent studies discussed in the April 2012 McKinsey Quarterly, Is there a pay-off from top-team diversity?, go on to say diversity is important not only from a gender, ethnicity or age perspective, but also in terms of skills and experiences.

So I've selected a very diverse executive team. And this is where I start worrying.

I can already clearly see the emotional cost the lead-up to the change is having on the team. It's in their faces, the overhead corridor comments and the changes in work quality and patterns. In some instances people are clearly energised and in some case they are not, but whether its excitement, fatalism, anger, depression or fear, heightened emotional workplaces are costly.

I also know the emotional cost to me. But that's a different story. What gets me through is the belief that once we get through the restructure, we will genuinely be a better team. We'll be more valuable and relevant to our clients, more creative and more productive. I hope we will be a place people want to work because the pace is lively, the teams inclusive and dynamic, the skills we learn transferrable and the results we deliver will speak for themselves.

But I know the achievement of all that relies just as much on the effectiveness of my newly appointed executive team, as it does on the 80+ people we will have working with us.

In the Sydney Morning Herald recently, Ann-Maree Moodie wrote about 'co-operative diversity'. She, like the McKinsey Quarterly is clearly a proponent for diversity. She notes that homogenous teams may be happy and at ease with each other, but seldom get the results of heterogeneous teams.

But unlike the McKinsey Quarterly, Ann-Maree also mentions some of the down-sides to diverse teams; constant challenging of one another, inability to agree, inability to move forward as a team. I can only assume this would lead to frustration, disrespect, fragmentation and indeed, disastrous results and rock bottom morale.

So now you can see the dilemma. If I want an exceptional creative, innovative and results- driven team to help achieve the new vision, I need diversity. But diversity could leave the team in ruins.

So with the best of intentions I have, for the first time in my life, very consciously picked a team which consists of very different people to me and to each other. I just hope I haven't paved the road to hell.

Kylie is the Executive Director for Investment & Export Services for the New South Wales (NSW) Government. NSW is Australia's largest State and its capital is Sydney, Australia. Her Department helps investors to set-up in NSW and helps local companies export to the world.

For more information on these services go to

To connect with Kylie, please visit her LinkedIn profile at;

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:





Mckinsey Quarterly


Anne Maree Moodie


Sydney Morning Herald







In India, employment opportunities are set to grow by a good margin in the coming year, a phase which was started in the turn of the second decade of the 21st century. organisation, candidates with

By: Sarkariexam l Business > Careers Employment l April 01, 2013 lViews: 11709

Sometimes it is amazing to see that certain jobs can precipitate huge turnouts in the recruitment drives. It is as if thousands of people were waiting for the vacancy advertisements and the moment

By: Sarkariexam l Business > Careers Employment l December 30, 2012 lViews: 690

In recent times, jobs in healthcare segments have grown tremendously. It is anticipated that this growth curve will continue for the times to come. Various factors are responsible for this

By: Sarkariexam l Business > Career Advice l December 27, 2012 lViews: 448

Are you in a dilemma whether to choose web based CRM or not? If yes, don’t worry. You aren’t the sole person having this doubt.There are numerous firms trying to make out whether investing in a

By: Reneta Vasileva l Business > Customer Service l December 23, 2012 lViews: 409

If you think about it you will realize the fact that each business has its own set of risks that are involved in it.The trade secrets that you have and the information related to the business is what

By: brumbrum1 l Business > Risk Management l December 23, 2012 lViews: 263

As the time is changing, concierge management services are now growing despite the slowing economies of the world. The main reason of it is the need that is highly specific to the people who like to

By: willsmith10 l Business > Management l December 23, 2012 lViews: 334

As the time is changing, concierge management services are now growing despite the slowing economies of the world. The main reason of it is the need that is highly specific to the people who like to

By: willsmith10l Business > Managementl December 23, 2012 lViews: 334

Let us start with the intent behind Project Portfolio Managing To expect making the most of value of stage business purchases based on a corporation's proper goals and also threshold with regard to

By: jaime jamesl Business > Managementl December 12, 2012 lViews: 1902

Do you ever have a feeling that you are leading a robotic life where you are working non-stop for unlimited hours to make sure that everything is completed on time. As soon as you finish one task

By: willsmith10l Business > Managementl December 11, 2012 lViews: 251

The people of London have a very busy lifestyle and this is evident from the fact that they are always in a hurry to reach a particular destination and mint money. Not only London, this frenetic

By: willsmith10l Business > Managementl December 03, 2012 lViews: 228

Life gets busy and important things can slip away from the mind. So that you don’t miss on such crucial of your life, concierges are given the charge. There are many things that a concierge can be

By: willsmith10l Business > Managementl November 05, 2012 lViews: 188

Prince2 can now be used in the human resources department. This is new as before it was thought it was made simply for the project management arena. Therefore anyone who is in HR can now benefit from

By: theknowledgeacademyl Business > Managementl October 25, 2012 lViews: 306

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus